File No. 861.00/1335
The Ambassador in Japan ( Morris ) to the Secretary of State
[Received March 20, 3.40 a.m.]
Advisory Council of Foreign Affairs met on Sunday morning. This afternoon Minister for Foreign Affairs handed me the following confidential memorandum:
The Japanese Government have submitted to their most serious consideration the memorandum of the American Embassy under date of March 71 bearing on the question of the situation in Siberia. They highly appreciate the sentiments of friendship and confidence manifested to them in that memorandum and the absolute frankness with which the views of the American Government on this important question have been communicated to them.
It will be clearly understood that the intervention now proposed by the Allied Governments to arrest the sinister activities of Germany in Siberia did not originate from any desire expressed or any suggestion made by the Japanese Government. At the same time the Japanese Government have viewed with grave concern the chaotic conditions prevailing in Siberia and they fully realize the serious danger of the German aggression to which those regions are exposed. Desiring at all times to contribute whatever lies at their disposal towards the common end of the Allies they are prepared to entertain, as far as possible and with all sincerity, any plan of action with which they may be approached by the Allied Governments to meet the exigencies of the situation.
They, however, feel that the success of such undertaking will depend largely upon the whole-hearted support of all the great powers associated in the war against Germany. Accordingly, it is their intention to refrain from taking any action on which due understanding has not been reached between the United States and the other great powers of the Entente.
It will hardly be necessary to add that should the hostile activities in Siberia develop to such a degree as to jeopardize the national security or vital interests of Japan she may be compelled to resort to prompt and efficient measures of self-protection. The Japanese Government are confident that in such event they can count on the friendly support of the American Government in the struggle which may be forced upon them.
In all cases they are happy to assure the Government of the United States that whatever action they might be called upon to take in the Russian territory will be wholly uninfluenced by any aggressive [Page 82] motives or tendencies and that they will remain unshaken in the profound sympathy towards the Russian people with whom they have every desire to maintain the relations of cordial friendship.